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Pele, King of Soccer

Last updated Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Author: Monica Brown
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 006122779X
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2009

Synopsis: Twisting multiple perspectives, adding swirls of color, and lining distorted figures with loose auras of yellow and blue, Gutiérrez creates high-energy, full-bleed illustrations that kick up the unexceptional English-over-Spanish text of this tribute to Pelé, still soccer’s O Rei (The King). “Every evening, no matter how tired they were, Pelé and his father, Dondinho, would play soccer in the streets. Whoops! Sometimes Pelé accidentally broke a window or kicked a ball over a fence.” Brown retraces Pelé’s youth and swift rise to fame, closing with a dramatic account of his 1,000th goal. From Booklist.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who is Pele? (a famous soccer player from Brazil from the 1970’s, comparable to Michael Jordan) Do you like to play soccer?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where is Brazil? Do you know what a World Cup is? Do you like watching it? Do you have a favorite soccer team? Who? Are you on a soccer team? What is your team name? Can you identify the people in the book? (Queen Elizabeth, Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz, JFK, the Beatles, Mohammed Ali, Picasso)

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a soccer field with players on the field. Cut out players & ball to play on the field drawn.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!